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April 2012

Twitter and the Innovator's Patent Agreement

Last week, Twitter took a bold step in announcing the implementation of their IPA (Innovator's Patent Agreement), a policy that has many in the IP management industry shaking their heads, and others applauding. In a statement posted on their blog, Adam Messinger, VP of Engineering explained that moving forward, they will only assert their IP rights for defensive purposes; any offensive use will be strictly limited to direct permission from the inventors on the patent. This seems to be in part a response of support to the developer community's frustration and anger at the manner in which technology is being leveraged in Yahoo's infringement lawsuit against Facebook. Messinger explains that "we sometimes worry that they [patents] may be used to impede the innovation of others", and that under this agreement, the control over the technology flows with the patents and therefore, their inventors.

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